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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Compression socks?


Ballerinamom2girls

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Does your dancer wear them-thoughts?  I came across good reviews for Apollo Shocks... and I don't mean for class, that wouldn't be allowed.  But in between classes, after pointe...after icing feet at home... just wondering if they'd be a nice preventive measure of various aches and pains my dd gets in her feet sometimes (non-injuries, goes away within days).  Appreciate your thoughts!

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While my dancer does not wear them, I personally do. I don't believe they offer "preventive measure" as you're saying, but I will wear mine in the evening on days I've had a very strenuous work out and I do feel better than when I do not. I wouldn't hesitate to suggest the same to my DD 10. I am not familiar with the specific brand you mention and the socks I use are definitely on the less intense end of the compression spectrum and do a great job. Personally I feel less is more when it comes to compression in otherwise healthy athletes. It works for me. I'm glad you mentioned this because we drive a good distance to her studio and gentle compression socks on the long ride home might be a nice idea for her, thanks !

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Yes, excessive compression can create problems. Although I believe I am overstepping if I elaborate more without a moderator's guidance. I'll gladly elaborate with permission.

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Personally, I would check with my child's doctor before using compression garments of any kind. 

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I wasn't sure if my response warranted its own post. Forgive me for piggybacking...My daughter has issues with recurring shin splints.  (We are seeing a dance PT this week.) She's used compression calf sleeves when her shins bother her,  along with ice,  ibuprofen,  elevation,  and avoiding jumps,  as needed.  She says they help and the sports med ortho didn't disagree.   

Anyone found these to help or hurt?  I'll of course be asking the dance PT, too.

Edited by NCBalletChauffeur
Typo
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I've been trying to find studies or reputable sites explaining the benefits/risks and I'm coming up empty handed.  It seems it's a fairly recent trend of wearing compression socks/tights for dancers, not due to injury.  Theoretically, it reduces/prevents swelling, improving blood flow, right?  What would the risks be?

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If you have ever run a marathon or half marathon you will understand the advantage.  They just prevent your calves from tightening up when over worked.  My DD (15) has only recently done this and only occasionally during intense dance periods.  Many pros wear them.

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DD is always struggling with tight calves, but I've never heard of compression tights/sleeves to help with that. That is something new (to me) to try and read about.

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It's actually not a new trend to wear compression socks/stockings without an injury. The ultimate goal of applying compression is to increase circulation, thereby reducing/preventing swelling, inflammation, and blood clotting in the legs (especially the lower legs). 

[For those interested in the science behind it: The applied compression decreases venous pressure by reducing the diameter of the veins, forcing blood to flow through narrower veins. As the venous system is responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart, this allows for upward bloodflow (increased circulation) toward the heart and away from the legs and feet.]

Increased circulation relieves aches in the legs, assuming the pain was caused by inadequate circulationso, yes, compression socks/stockings can be used to alleviate pain. I would still consult a doctor in the event that the pain is due to another underlying issue. Even non-injury pain should be assessed to rule out things like tendonitis. 

Compression socks/stockings are used as a preventative measure by athletes and people in general who are on their feet for long periods of time. Remember a few decades ago when nurses wore white dresses and knee-high stockings?! Those were compression stockings!! They are used to keep blood flowing, as nurses stand for 12-hr. shifts, and prevent varicose veins. (Many nurses still wear them under their pants!) They can be applied for hours at a time. Some people wear them during the day while they're on their feet, and others just choose to sleep with them. You should ask your MD when and how long you should wear them. 

Compression socks and stockings can be bought in local drug stores (Walgreens, CVS), and usually have a size chart. I would still consult with an MD to ensure that I'm not applying too much or too little pressure. 

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DanceMumNYC, that is really helpful information.   Makes sense to me why it would help my DD's shin splints. 

 

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I wear them when I fly or go on car rides for over an hour, particularly in higher elevations, because I had a major blood clot and have been diagnosed with something called May-Thurner Syndrome. I was specifically told not to wear them while sleeping.  

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Thanks for your feedback! That's why it's important to consult with an MD. While it is common to wear compression socks/stockings without an injury, particular diagnoses often determine when and how long to wear them. Another alternative to wearing them overnight and increasing bloodflow is to elevate the legs above the level of the heart (on one or two pillows) while sleeping. 

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